Sex Education and Teens
Sex education should begin in the home before children even start school. If children are going to trust their parents and be able to discuss this issue with them, the parents need to teach their children about their bodies and their sense of self when they are much younger than elementary school.
When my generation was in high school, we had basic sex education in biology class. This class was given in our sophomore year for ages 15 - 16 years old. By this time, at least 1/2 of my class already had sex or was thinking about it. This is way too old to be teaching the basics to teens. Our class instruction was on how the body functions, STD's, how babies were conceived and subsequently born. What they didn't teach us was the problem. Even during the AIDS explosion in the 80's, they really didn't teach us how to protect ourselves.
We were never instructed that abstinence was an acceptable form of birth control. They didn't teach us that sexual promiscuity was harmful. They relied on our parents to teach us the facts of life. Most of our parents were unable to do so.
My parents for example, were not able to speak to me about sex. My mom always referred to sex as "it." My dad never talked about sex. They were not able to teach me about the emotional side of sex and the difference between lust and love.
We need to educate our youth early about responsibilities of sex and how it will affect their lives. Children are having sex as young as 10 years old. Kids that young are not prepared for the consequences of sex. They are just following a crowd, not really choosing the path they need...